Take What You Need
by Idra Novey
Books > Fiction
Idra Novey will be joining us for an event on Thursday 5th October, in conversation about Take What You Need with shop manager Elizabeth Perry. Tickets are £5 including a glass of wine or a soft drink and can be booked in the shop or online here.
This morning, I read that repeating the name of the deceased can quiet the mind when grieving for complicated people. My stepmother Jean was a complicated person.
Take What You Need traces the parallel lives of Jean and her beloved but estranged stepdaughter, Leah, who’s sought a clean break from her rural childhood. In Leah’s urban life with her young family, she’s revealed little about Jean, how much she misses her stepmother’s hard-won insights and joyful lack of inhibition.
But with Jean’s death, Leah must return to sort through what’s been left behind. What Leah discovers is staggering: Jean has filled her ramshackle house with giant sculptures she’s welded from scraps of the area’s industrial history.
Set in the Allegheny Mountains of Appalachia, Take What You Need explores the continuing mystery of the people we love most, zeroing in on the joys and difficulties of family with great verve and humour, and illuminating what can be built from what others have discarded.